Some Lagos members of the Parents Forum of students of the University of Ilorin (UNILORIN) have called on the Federal Government to immediately step in and flush out the herdsmen that have allegedly invaded and occupied some lands of the University for grazing and other activities to ensure that there is no threat to life and property in the campus. The parents in a statement signed by one of its leaders, Alhaji Akanbi Oreniwon to react to the recent outcry on the encroachment on the institutionâ€™s land by the herdsmen by the Vice Chancellor of the University, Prof. Abdulganiyu Ambali, noted that going by the increasing notoriety and blood tasty nature of herdsmen across the country in the recent times, there was need for the Federal Government to immediately bring its weight to bear on the herdsmen to ensure that the seven-day ultimatum given them by the VC to vacate the lands of the University is not only adhered to but that they leave peacefully.
The parents, who commended the VC for promptly drawing the attention of the nation to the illegal occupation of the University lands by the herdsmen before it got out of hand, warned that they will not fold their hands and allow any group of people or individuals to cause any harm to their children or the peace of the University as a whole in the guise of cattle grazing. They condemned the lukewarm attitude of the federal government to the killing spree by herdsmen across the country, stating that they have now become the most singular threat to the nationâ€™s internal security. Prof. Ambali had last week given a seven-day ultimatum to some herdsmen, occupying the institutionâ€™s lands and grazing cattle in the premises to vacate the place at a meeting he held with their representatives and other stakeholders in the campus, stating that their presence there was a violation of the laws governing the university. â€œYour activities are affecting our research works. Plants grown for research are being destroyed, slowing down the pace of research work. We must ensure we do not hinder and frustrate each other, as we are members of the same society,â€ Ambali told them, pointing out that the meeting was called because the institution believed in dialogue and peaceful resolution of conflicts. â€œPeople are building permanent structures on our land.
When we went round, we counted about 16 structures, we want to use these plots for the purpose for which the university was established, hence, the need for this meeting,â€ the VC further stated, stressing that the illegal activities of the herdsmen on the campus would affect the over 30,000 students of the university. Similarly, the Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Management Services, Prof. Adedayo Abdulkareem, stated that several university farms were being destroyed by the herdsmenâ€™s grazing cattle, pointing out that the unlawful encroachment on the institutionâ€™s landed property was worrisome to the university administration. He condemned the use of chemicals by the herdsmen for illegal fishing in the institutionâ€™s waters, describing it as a dangerous development that could lead to water poisoning, as the university elied on the water for treatment and supply to the camp.